November 2017

Albatec Racing announces collaborative partnership with the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — 23 November 2017: Dumfries rallycross outfit Albatec Racing and the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME) have agreed on a collaborative partnership that aims to provide career development opportunities for the next generation of motorsport engineers.

NCME and Albatec will work together in partnership to provide an unrivalled experience to students studying Motorsport and Automotive Performance Engineering at the University of Bolton, both in class and on-event with Albatec’s 2018 MSA British Rallycross Championship campaign.

Albatec brings their expertise to NCME by helping students and staff to contextualise academic learning in the development, assembly, and preparation of its 600bhp Peugeot 208 Supercar, which will be engineered at the University’s brand new £13 million state-of-the-art workshops. As part of the collaboration, NCME’s students will support Albatec engineers and technicians at the track, providing context to theoretical studies in maths, physics, and engineering.

Studying in the University’s classrooms and workshops, and working alongside Albatec’s experienced rallycross personnel at the track will provide the opportunity for students to gain hands-on, real-life career experience. Students will get the chance to engage as part of a professional race team at the track, and understand the careers available in motorsport engineering as well as gain insight into how cars are designed, developed, manufactured and tested.

Partnering with Albatec, a leading team in British, French, and European rallycross, students will gain a unique learning experience, from engineering the cars and dealing with the challenges of events as a team member to securing first-hand experience encompassing pre-event preparation, testing, competition and post-event scrutineering. Student projects will mimic the research and development processes used in industry, helping them prepare for a successful and rewarding career in motorsport engineering.

Albatec is currently considering drivers for the programme, seeking a suitable candidate who is not only capable of powering the team to victory but also one who understands the importance of aligning their own progress with that of junior team members.

Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing:

“We’re incredibly excited to be collaborating with the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering at the University of Bolton and see this as a long-term investment for both parties. The UK has produced some of the finest technical minds in the business, with engineers holding key positions across the board right up to Formula One. We’re eager to ensure that this continues and expands into rallycross. While partnerships with universities in motorsport aren’t unique, I believe this will be the first collaboration with a successful UK team at National level, with one of the highest-ranking universities for motorsport engineering.

“We don’t currently have our driver for British Rallycross finalised, that’s the final piece of the puzzle. But one of the major factors in our selection process is to ensure that they are firstly a potential front-runner, we’re not here to finish second. We are also looking for a driver that understands the importance of working with students, our next generation of motorsport engineers, and appreciates the culture of learning and development which is so essential to every member of a successful motorsport operation.”

Dr. Mark Busfield, Director, National Centre for Motorsport Engineering

“This is a wonderful opportunity to be working in collaboration with Albatec Racing and competing in the MSA British Rallycross Championship, a series that is rapidly growing in popularity and strength.

“Partnering in this manner is perfect for the NCME and Albatec; the strong synergy with the infrastructure, data, and hardware from Albatec and the significant number of brilliant students we have on our specific Motorsport Engineering course, within NCME gives us unprecedented advantages and value to the project. Our students can engage fully in true motorsport engineering, and work to understand performance optimisation, and continuously improve the car.  We look forward to a long and successful collaboration and are excited to start working with the team.”

Albatec and Cronjé bring 2017 to a close in glorious World RX season finale

Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town (South Africa) — 15 November 2017: Against a stunning backdrop of the magnificent Table Mountain, Albatec Racing and South African Mark Cronjé received massive support from his multitude of fans at the Gumtree World RX of South Africa. The final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship took place at the brand-new Killarney International Raceway, and marked the World RX debut of the multiple national race and rally champion aboard the team’s Peugeot 208 RX.

Facing a quality entry of the best rallycross drivers in the world, Mark faced stiff opposition on only his second ever rallycross appearance. A solid start to the weekend saw him adapt to racing against similar 600bhp Supercars, however, a technical issue in Saturday’s second qualifying race, coupled with damage sustained in race four, hampered his hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.

Despite the results, the team and Mark left Cape Town pleased with the experience of racing on the world stage, where an estimated 27,000 enthusiastic spectators across the weekend willed on the man from Pretoria. The event marked a successful working relationship for both Albatec and Mark, with both keen to continue discussions for the future.

In the meantime, the Dumfries team will continue to build on its season strengths as it firms up its 2018 rallycross programmes, which it plans to announce shortly.

Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing:

“We were all blown away by the support we received at Killarney in what was probably the most enjoyable weekend we’ve had in rallycross. Despite not getting the results the team and Mark are capable of the event was fantastic. The enthusiastic crowd was so passionate about rallycross, very supportive of Mark, and it was great to be a part of that. It’s really fired us up to consider being a part of the world championship again!

“I really hope this isn’t the last we see of Mark Cronje in an Albatec car. He delivered everything we could have hoped for in terms of his professionalism, support, and dedication to the job required. In the meantime, we’ve got some incredibly exciting plans we’ve been working on for a while coming to fruition very shortly, which will see Albatec remain at the top level of rallycross for the foreseeable future.”

Mark Cronjé, Driver Albatec Racing:

“It was such an incredible experience competing in the event, and I am ecstatic to have won my last qualifying run and now have a taste for more. It was naturally disappointing not to come away with the results we deserved, and after all the efforts that Albatec put in over the weekend. We suffered a broken propshaft in the second qualifying race, which had a big effect on the outcome of the weekend, and ended our hopes of progressing to the semis.

“We received tremendous support from the fans both at the track and across social media, and the weekend has shown me just how great World RX is, and that I’d love to be there again next season. You can rest assured that I will continue this journey and now it’s time to start making it happen for 2018. Thank you to Albatec Racing for providing me with the best possible World RX Supercar for the weekend.”

Albatec and Cronjé targeting a spot in the semis at World RX of South Africa

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Monday 6 November 2017: Albatec Racing and Mark Cronjé are primed for the final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, Gumtree World RX of South Africa which takes place in Cape Town on 10-12 November. The event marks a welcome return to the World stage for the Dumfries team but more significantly heralds the long-awaited World RX debut for Pretoria-based Cronjé.

Mark made a considerable impression on his first outing with Albatec at Lessay, France where he joined series regular Philippe Maloigne and Team Principal Andy Scott in round eight of Rallycross France. Mark was immediately on the pace in the team’s #124 600bhp Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, capturing two race wins and consistently fast lap times across the weekend, however, broken suspension in his semi-final ended his inspired performance.

Next weekend the multiple national champion in rallying, circuit racing and off-road racing is targeting a place in the semi-finals amongst a quality entry at his home event. The new rallycross track at the Killarney International Raceway has been altered slightly since Mark’s introduction to World RX at the pre-season launch. However, his aptitude for learning tracks swiftly was evident in France and should, therefore, pose no real issues when he takes to the circuit for the first time on Friday.

The biggest challenge Mark faced in his first rallycross encounter was adjusting to the different start procedure, where off the grid the start is signalled purely by the green lights, without the traditional red lights widely used in circuit racing. To assist him, Mark has undergone significant practice to enable him to quickly learn the procedure ready for the first qualifying race on Saturday afternoon.

Track action at Killarney gets underway at 09.15 on Saturday 11 November, with Q1 from 13.30 and Q2 from 15.50. Two warm-up laps get Sunday’s action started from 09.00, Q3 starts at 10.00, with Q4 at 12.00. The semi-finals take place from 15.00, immediately followed by the Final. All times SAST.

Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing:

“Personally, I’m really looking forward to going to Cape Town for World RX of South Africa, and particularly excited to see how Mark fares against world-class opposition. He proved in France that he has certainly has the talent and speed behind the wheel, but he also showed a professional approach to rallycross and working within the team environment, so I have every confidence that he will adjust well to World RX.

“I know he’s spent a lot of time getting to grips with the start procedure in rallycross, which was really the only difficulty he faced in France. We have, as always, worked hard to build a car equipped to deliver the results we know he’s capable of. All being well, together we can achieve our aim of reaching the semi-finals.”

Mark Cronjé, Driver Albatec Racing:

“I’m excited to be racing at World RX of South Africa next week, and very much looking forward to racing in front of my home supporters. The rallycross event we did at Lessay was a steep learning curve, but I left France a whole lot wiser than when I arrived. Albatec gave me the perfect introduction into the world of FIA World Rallycross.

“Our outright pace was good, unfortunately, the fast pace we had was not transferred into results, but I’ve now got more of an understanding about how rallycross works, in particular, how critical the start is. I’ve spent considerable time practicing the starts and four-lap stints, to get the precision required to give me the best shot when it comes to the races. Now it’s just a case of rubbing shoulders with the best in the business. Hopefully, we have the package to deliver a solid result. I said before I’d like to mix it with some of the best in the world, and getting to the semi-finals is my aim!”